Union Parish Tornado Damage
December 18, 2002
December 18 a strong cold front and upper level storm system produced widespread reports of severe weather, including tornadoes, across north Louisiana and southern Arkansas.  One supercell storm produced an F1 tornado near the community of Laran in northern Union Parish.  The storm that spawned the tornado originated at around 1:50 PM CST in southwestern Red River Parish southeast of Shreveport.  It was the southernmost storm in a broken line of storms that extended out of southern Arkansas north of El Dorado, southwest into north central and northwest Louisiana.

The storm continued to move northeast along the line axis and continued to be "Tail End Charlie" throughout its life.  Strong rotation with this storm began to develop as the storm moved into northern Lincoln Parish.  The only confirmed tornado produced was in northern Union Parish near the community of Laran.  The initial touchdown appeared to have been near Louisiana 550 approximately two miles south of Laran.  The tornado moved to the northeast for two miles initially damaging trees and power lines near highway 550.  Its path was about 100 yards wide.  Near the end of its life cycle, it produced F1 damage to two homes and a barn.

The storm dissipated quickly as it crossed the Arkansas border.  Below are images of the storm as it progressed northeast across Union Parish.  The left images are composite reflectivity and the right images are storm relative velocities.  Note the strong rotation indicated by the red/green coupling in the velocity images.  The images are at 4:36PM, 4:42PM, 4:47PM, 4:52PM, and 4:57PM.  The photo above was taken at approximately 4:50PM.

Click HERE for damage photos and maps.